Normally I wouldn’t blog about a minor rev in a vendor’s firmware update CD. But last week HP released a major version, with significant changes, to their Proliant firmware update CD. They’ve combined several of their blade offline update CDs into a single DVD that covers their ML, DL plus the BL blade servers. What’s really nice about this release, and a major time saver, is that the firmware update is 100% automated.
By 100% automated, I mean just that! Pop in the DVD, reboot the server and come back 10 minutes later and its all done. You don’t need to answer a single question or click on a single screen. I updated an entire chassis of 14 blade servers today while I was multi-tasking, and it was a breeze.
There is a timed menu that comes up for 30 seconds that you can break into and do a manual or more targeted update of just certain components. The manual approach also lists the tested blade firmware bundles so you know exactly what versions are compatible. Or you can inject your own updates into the DVD and use the very latest versions. I chose to inject the latest system ROM and iLO2 firmware, and the automated routine picked them up without a hitch.
I’m glad to see that HP combined their various offline update methods, and have it fully automated. My only complaint is that the server is rebooted after all of the updates are done and if you don’t catch it then it will boot off the CD and scan for updates. Of course the firmware will be up to date so nothing happens, but it will get suck in this endless reboot and check phase until you interrupt it. It really should wait for user input before it reboots.
You can download the newly titled “Smart Update Firmware DVD” v9.00 here. Even though the DVD was released last week, it doesn’t have the very latest iLO or G6 System ROMs. So should you want those, just download the Linux .scexe binary and inject it into the DVD.
UPDATE: HP says automatic mode should eject the DVD after it has completed and thus not get into a reboot/update cycle. Unfortunately the external DVD reader for my BL4980c G6 servers isn’t ejecting properly. So YMMV on this problem.